Articles, Student Tips Week

7 Tips to Stay Organized This Semester

Written by Logan Stack

For many students, transitioning to CEGEP can be overwhelming. This sentiment arises not only from the amount of work, but from the way in which the quantity of schoolwork ebbs and flows throughout the semester. However, fear not! There are numerous ways to start and finish the semester stress-free, and we at the MWR have compiled the best advice from students who have been there before.

1) Make a semester list

At the beginning of the school year, you will be given course outlines, which include the dates for major assignments and tests. The best thing to do is to create a list of everything you will have to do during the semester. It takes a bit of time, but it pays off. Whether by hand or using a free tasklist service like Trello (seen below), you can then organize your to-do list without being caught by surprise when assignments and tests pop up.

2) Get a head start

The beginning of the semester is your best opportunity to set yourself up for success. If you know about a project that will only be due at the end of the semester, it may seem tempting to wait, but it is better to lay the groundwork for it now. Labor Day weekend is especially helpful in reducing your workload later on.

3) Use your breaks

Breaks between classes are not always the best time for major assignments, but they are very useful for completing shorter homework assignments. Maximizing efficiency during these breaks allows you to have the time to focus on what really matters later. 

4) Keep up to date

The worst feeling is trying to catch up  in vain as your classes speed along without you. To avoid this, set a good pace so that you won’t have to cram later. Doing 15 minutes of practice a day is a lot more helpful than long mind-numbing sessions the weekend before an exam. 

5) Adapt

Avoid waiting until after a test to see your teacher; if you are unclear on a concept, teachers are always willing to help during their office hours. It may seem intimidating at first, but those doubts are nearly always assuaged once you sit down with your teacher. If more time is needed, there is absolutely nothing wrong with hiring a tutor, and even the best students need some extra time to go over tough concepts.

6) Socialize

Some Marianopolis students feel that they must choose between academic success and a vibrant social life. However, that is not the case: spending time with friends will make you happier, and in turn more motivated. The key is simply balance: the more efficiently your work, the more time you will have to spend with people you care about.

7) Forget About the R-Score

The worst thing to do is to set goals based on outcomes. Instead, set goals based on process. Wrong: I want to get over 90% on this test. Right: I want to study efficiently so that I feel good going into the test. Hoping to receive a 90% will not change how you perform, and may even make you more nervous and distracted. Instead, make sure that you are taking the time to study the material thoroughly; in this way, you can feel good about the work you put in, regardless of the result.

While there is no magic potion that will get you a 1000 R-Score, loads of free time and that Lamborghini you always wanted, if you follow these steps you will be well on your way to succeeding this semester with as little stress as possible. 


The Marianopolis World Review is a student-run newspaper that focuses on debating relevant social, political, environmental, and economic issues (Opposition Articles, published every Friday), as well as keeping students informed about Congress’ actions and activities that occur on campus (Marianopolis News, published every Monday). To stay updated, simply like our Facebook page. To get involved, sign up at Join-A-Club Day.

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